Senate places three presidential nominees on CPB Board

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Mandell

The U.S. Senate confirmed Thursday three CPB Board members nominated by President Trump.

Robert Mandell of Winter Park, Fla., and Miriam Hellreich of Kailua, Hawaii, are new to the board. Lawmakers confirmed Chair Bruce Ramer of Los Angeles for his third term.

The final board nomination, for Don Munce, an education executive from Lee’s Summit, Mo., remains on the Senate calendar.

Mandell is an attorney and retired U.S. Ambassador to Luxembourg. He succeeds Brent Nelsen, chair of the South Carolina Educational Television Commission. Mandell’s term expires in 2022.

Mandell said in a nomination questionnaire that he favors continued federal funding. “Consistent, stable federal support is a key component to the health of public television and radio,” he wrote.

Mandell also said diverse content is essential for public media. “With the growth of new national and international content producers, including online video platforms, it will be important for CPB to explore relationships that can bring even more high-quality content onto public television and radio,” he wrote.

Hellreich is a speech pathologist in private practice. She is also the Republican National Committeewoman for Hawaii and a member of the RNC’s executive committee. She succeeds Howard Husock, policy research VP at the Manhattan Institute. Her term will expire in 2024.

Hellreich sees “maintaining adequate funding for local station infrastructure needs in the face of changing technology and equipment obsolescence” as a board priority, she wrote in her questionnaire. She also wants the board to connect educational programming to “broader and more diverse communities, including children and adults with disabilities.”

Ramer

Ramer is a Los Angeles entertainment and media attorney at Gang, Tyre, Ramer, Brown & Passman. He was first nominated in 2008 by President Bush and reappointed by President Obama in 2013. Ramer chaired the CPB Board from 2010–12 and was vice chair from 2016–18. He was elected chair again in October 2018. His latest term expires in 2024.

He also currently chairs the Peabody Advisory Board and serves on the executive advisory council of the American Archive of Public Broadcasting.

Ramer said in his questionnaire that maintaining funding, as well as “seeking funding alternatives,” should be a board priority.

He also wrote of the importance of “supporting objectivity and balance in the public broadcasting arena, including journalistic and content integrity, transparency in content, program selection, management and fundraising.”

Ramer also wants the board to continue to support “innovation, diversity, development and civic engagement in the public broadcasting system.”

Correction: An earlier version of this post incorrectly reported the year Mandell’s term expires. It is 2022, not 2024. It also incorrectly said that he is replacing Nevada broadcaster Lori Gilbert. Mandell is replacing Brent Nelsen.

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